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Dinner Gino's Italian Escape

Risotto with red radicchio and Italian sausages

“I can’t think of anything better than sitting and eating a plate of risotto while admiring the view of the winding canals of Venice.”
– Gino D’Acampo

This risotto has all the colours of Italy – green peas, creamy white rice and the sharp red of a favourite regional leaf vegetable, radicchio.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

– 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
– 25g butter
– 4 sausages, skins removed
– 1 onion, very finely chopped
– 2 celery sticks, very finely chopped
– 400g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
– 100ml white wine
– 1.3 litres hot vegetable or chicken stock
– 150g frozen peas, defrosted
– ¼ head of radicchio, finely sliced
– 100g butter
– 80g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy based frying pan on a high heat. When hot, add the sausage meat and fry, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small pieces. Fry until golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper using a slotted spoon. Keep warm.

In the same pan, cook the onion and celery for 2 minutes, then add the rice and fry for 3 minutes on a medium heat, allowing the rice to toast into the hot oil. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. Pour the wine over the rice and continue to cook for a further minute to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

Add a couple of ladles of stock and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook and stir until all the stock is absorbed. At this point please stay with the saucepan because you need to keep stirring with a wooden spoon. Pour in the rest of the stock, except one ladleful, a little at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed. It is ready when all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked but still has a slight bite. This will take 15–17 minutes (you may not need all the stock).

When the rice is just cooked, add the peas and radicchio. Add a final ladle of stock, stir, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan. Once the butter has melted, add three quarters of the cooked and crumbled sausage meat. Season to taste.

Serve in warm bowls topped with the rest of the cooked sausage, a drizzle of olive oil and a little freshly ground black pepper.

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